Importance of Trees: Part Two

Trees are a beautiful element of nature. In part one of our series, The Importance of Trees, we revisited a childhood favorite Shel Silverstein book, The Giving Tree, which reminded us that trees are best friends to humanity. In this blog, we discussed carbon sequestration, absorption of solar radiation, and increased biodiversity.  Read on to explore additional values of these precious gifts and how they directly affect our lives.

Air Purification

High concentration of harmful gases and particles in our atmosphere negatively affect our health and the animals and plants around us. Thankfully, trees are nature’s air filters. They absorb these toxic chemicals from the air and release oxygen. Particles, odors, and pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide are absorbed into tree’s leaves through their pores. These particulates are then trapped in the leaves and the tree’s bark. This process filters and purifies our air. In fact, according to the website “in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere”

Filters Water Systems

Trees not only protect air quality, but they also protect water quality. Trees improve water quality by slowing rain as it falls to Earth and by capturing, storing, and using it to reduce the amount of runoff that carries pollution into nearby rivers and lakes. Trees decrease the rate and volume of stormwater flowing through local storm sewers and they prevent soil from eroding and lessen flood damage. Deep roots of trees along shorelines of lakes and streams help stabilize the banks and reduce the inflow of sediments while providing habitats for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.

Improved Mental Health

It is obvious that trees help us live better, cleaner lives. But did you know that spending time around trees also reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and improves our mood? Numerous studies show that even just looking at trees reduces the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline.  Just like you would remind yourself to drink water and eat a vegetable at every meal, remind yourself to spend time around trees. The way you manage anxiety and stress might be in your own backyard.

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